Federal Judge Richard A. Jones to address Saint Martin’s class of 2008

Distinguished Saint Martin’s High School alumnus ‘exemplifies SMU mission’

March 13, 2008

Lacey, Washington — The Honorable Richard A. Jones will deliver the commencement address to the Saint Martin’s University class of 2008, University President Douglas M. Astolfi announced this morning. Jones, a 1968 graduate of Saint Martin’s High School and 2006 recipient of the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award, currently serves as a United States District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington in Seattle.

“Judge Jones will be sending our graduates into the world with a powerful message — a message that resonates with the spirit of this institution,” said Astolfi. “Having received a Saint Martin’s education himself, Judge Jones exemplifies our mission to ‘prepare students for active, responsible and productive lives in their professions and as members of the local and global community.’ His contributions inside and outside the courtroom reflect a depth of character that we strive to cultivate within our own campus community.”

Jones’ appointment to the federal judiciary in October 2007 marks the latest milestone in an illustrious career. After receiving his high school diploma from Saint Martin’s, he earned a B.A. in public affairs from Seattle University and a J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law. Jones then worked as a staff attorney for the Port of Seattle, an associate with Seattle-based law firm Bogle & Gates, a deputy prosecutor for King County and an assistant United States attorney for the Western District of Washington before being appointed to the King County Superior Court bench in 1994.

While on the state bench, he presided over several high-profile criminal cases, most notably the 2003 trial of serial killer Gary Leon Ridgway, known as the “Green River Killer.” SMU Chancellor Abbot Neal Roth, O.S.B., who taught Jones in high school, is proud of the way his former pupil handled the trial. “He demonstrated so many of the Benedictine values that guide us here at Saint Martin’s,” says Roth. “He was conscientious, thorough and fair, and his sense of dignity and compassion set a high standard of decency throughout the proceedings.”

Jones has received countless accolades for his work as a lawyer and judge. In 2004, following the Ridgway trial, he was the recipient of Judge of the Year awards from the Washington State Bar Association, the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, the Asian Bar Association of Washington State and the King County Bar Association. He also has received the Washington State Bar Association’s Special Recognition Award and the King County Bar Association’s Affirmative Action Award. In 2001, he was presented with the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award by the Loren Miller Bar Association, which supports the social and economic well-being of its predominately African-American members.

Beyond the courtroom, Jones is well known for his commitment to education, community service and civic activities. He frequently lectures at regional legal education programs and has been an instructor at the United States Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, the Executive Office of the United States Attorney in Washington, D.C., and the Washington State Judicial College, where he served as Dean in 1997 and 1998. Judge Jones is also a faculty member at the National Judicial College and the National Center for Courts and Media. He serves on several boards and committees, including the Seattle University Board of Regents, the University of Washington Law School Advisory Committee and the board of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, and has been active in programs honoring Thurgood Marshall and Brown v. Board of Education.

Outside of Judge Jones’ extraordinary professional and civic life, he has the distinction of being the brother of musician and producer Quincy Jones.

Saint Martin’s University will hold commencement ceremonies for its 416-member class of 2008 on Saturday, May 10, at 2 p.m. in Saint Martin’s Pavilion, 5300 Pacific Ave. SE, Lacey. A reception hosted by the Alumni Association follows in the Norman Worthington Center.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 320-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension campuses located at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base, Olympic College, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Jennifer G. Fellinger
Director of Communications
Saint Martin’s University